NEW: Congress committee questions Brightline financing strategy

Posted on April 19, 2018

By: Jennifer Sorentrue, Palm Beach Post

Members of a congressional oversight committee Thursday took aim at Brightline’s plan to use tax-exempt bonds to pay for its West Palm Beach-to-Orlando extension, questioning whether the project qualifies for the tax-free financing.

Brightline in December won federal approval to sell $1.15 billion in private activity bonds to help pay for the second phase its passenger rail project, which will connect the company’s West Palm Beach station to the Orlando airport and ultimately allow its fleet of trains to shuttle passengers between Miami and Central Florida.

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, a longtime Brightline critic, called for the oversight hearing in February.

The U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Government Operations took no formal action in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, but some members questioned whether Brightline’s passenger service meets federal requirements to qualify for the tax-exempt bonds…

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